Aquatic environment

Growth characteristics of algae during early stages of phytoplankton bloom in Lake Taihu, China

Yuhong Jia , Johnson Dan , Min Zhang , Fanxiang Kong


Received May 04, 2012,Revised August 20, 2012, Accepted , Available online February 02, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 254-261

Three treatments, sediment plus lake water (S+W), sterilized sediment plus lake water (SS+W), and sediment plus filtered lake water (S+FW), were recruited to investigate the growth characteristics of algae during pre-bloom and the importance of algal inocula in the water column and sediment. The results showed that in the water column, biomass of all algae increased in all treatments when recruitment was initiated, whereas this tendency differed among treatments with further increment of temperature. The process of algal growth consisted of two stages: Stage I, the onset of recruitment and Stage II, the subsequent growth of algae. Compared with S+W, in Stage I, SS+W significantly increased the biomass of cyanophytes by 178.70%, and decreased the biomass of non-cyanophytes by 43.40%; In Stage II, SS+W notably stimulated the growth of all algae, thus incurring the occurrence of phytoplankton bloom. Further analyses revealed that both metabolic activity and photochemical activity of algae were enhanced in SS+W, which resulted from the releasing of nutrients from sediment. These results suggest that algal growth in Stage II and algal inocula in the water column can be important factors for the formation of phytoplankton bloom. In addition, possible mechanisms promoting algal recruitment and subsequent growth of algae were explored.

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